With Online Tuner -
Chromatic Tuner -
From String to String
At first, tuning a guitar can seem frustrating, but it won't be if you just follow the first method below on how to tune your guitar and it will be in tune faster than you imagined.
Alternatively, scroll down and choose any other method which suits you.
Method 1. Tuning a Guitar with an Online Tuner
Each button on the tuner represents a guitar string from low to high.
The lower is the widest string on your guitar is called the low E
string, the next strings are the A, D, G, B and high E.
Click the first "e" button on the left side of the tuner, and play the open low E string on your guitar.
Now adjust the tuning machine that belongs to this string, by turning its peg up or down until the pitch is the same.
In the process
you'll have something like this
Here is how it should sound when the string is fully in tune:
When you have finished with the low E string, press the "a" button on
the tuner, switch to the next A string and repeat the process again.
Do the same thing with the rest of the strings - the D, G, B and high E,
tuning them to the corresponding tones of the d, g, b, and e button on
the virtual tuner.
You can quickly return to this article and use the online guitar tuner anytime by clicking "Tuning" button on the left navbar.
My personal tuning tip that you won't find everywhere:
Often when you're turning the peg down, the string will slightly stick
at the nut, and when you're playing, the string will accidentally slide
through the nut to the normal position, releasing the strain, so the
pitch will go down out of tune.
In order to prevent this, bend the string as I did in the
video below each time after you turned the peg down, and check the pitch
Note that any guitar multi-effects processor has a built in chromatic
tuner these days. If you have the effect processor, follow the manual
and 'how to switch to the tuner mode'.
Tuning a guitar with a chromatic tuner is very easy.
Once you have plugged the electric guitar into the device
(or use a built in microphone whenever you're tuning an acoustic guitar).
• If you feel that the string is slightly out of tune, do following:
stroke it and watch the tuner's scale.
If the mark is on the left side, you need to turn the peg up, if
it's on the right side, turn the peg down. The center is the correct
• When the string is completely out of tune, you'll need to do an extra step.
Let's say you tune the G string.
When you stroke the string, the tuner should indicate the note
around which your current pitch is. (In the video example below it's
around the note of C.)
First, roughly adjust the tuning machine until it indicates the
desirable G note. You'll go through the notes of D, E, F and land on G.
After that, begin with precise tuning,
checking with the underlying pitch scale, as I described above.
Here I'm tuning this G string.
Sorry that the video turned to be a little angled :)
Although a chromatic tuner is a great help, don't switch your intuition and ears off.
If the string you're tuning is very tight but the tuner shows you that
the pitch is low - something is wrong. Perhaps you already passed the
necessary note the string should be tuned to, so now you tune to the
note located an octave higher. This could break the string, so you
should loosen it and begin the tuning process again.
A couple of frequent reasons when a tuner may show you a wrong pitch:
• The volume on the guitar is too low or off.
• You plugged an effect between the tuner and the guitar, and the modified guitar sound can't be recognized by the tuner.
Plug your guitar directly into the tuner, or use the bypass mode on the in-between effect unit.
Here is how correctly tuned strings sound like:
high E >
Method 3. Tuning a Guitar from String to String
This method is especially useful on a trip, when the first two methods are unavailable.
You'll only need any source of a genuine note of low E to tune the rest of the strings up, one from each other.
A Turning fork is a small metal tool that when
struck generates a sound, usually of the note of A.
This sound has the same pitch as the note played at the fifth fret on
the high E string (and not the open low E string, as with the audio
That's why tuning a guitar with a tuning fork begins from the high E string towards the lower E.
• First play the high E string at the fifth fret and tune it to the pitch of the tuning fork sound.
• Next tune the B string, playing it at the fifth fret and checking with the open high E string.
• After that, tune the G string, playing it at the fourth fret and checking with the open B string.
• Later, tune the rest of the strings in the same way, playing each
tuning string at the fifth fret and checking the pitch with the strings
already in tune. Look at the diagram above.
It's good practice to check your guitar's tuning before playing, or anytime you hear that a string is out of tune.
Playing a guitar that's out of tune will not only sound wrong, no matter
how good you play, but as I read in one guitar instruction book, it
also can cause a damaging effect on your ear for music.